Choosing a favorite among the excellent Rochester-area chocolatiers is unthinkable. Crafted by third- and fourth-generation descendants, many chocolates are still made using traditional family recipes with modern twists.
Descriptions are from each chocolatier’s website.
City of Rochester
Rochester’s Park Ave Neighborhood, est. 1946
Current chocolatiers are 3rd generation descendants of the original owner.
The Stever’s have been making delicious confections for over half a century. Douglas Stever learned the art of candy making near Philadelphia after his service in World War II. In 1946, he and his wife Hilda opened their first small shop in Rochester at S. Goodman & Benton Streets.
Hedonist Artisan Chocolates
Rochester’s South Wedge Neighborhood, est. 2007
Hedonist /he-don-ist/ a person who believes in the pursuit of pleasure is the most important thing in life; a pleasure-seeker.
In 2007 Hedonist Artisan Chocolates was born in Rochester, New York. Founder Jennifer Posey had the vision that hand-crafting small batch confections using old world techniques, carefully sourced ingredients, refined packaging would create an obsession for artisan chocolates in Rochester and New York State.
They also have a selection of vegan and dairy free options.
Laughing Gull Chocolates
Rochester’s Winton Village neighborhood, est. 2015
Laughing Gull Chocolates was conceived out of a long-standing love affair with chocolate, a fascination with it’s story, and a desire to use chocolate as a vehicle for social change.
After spending years delving into the history of cacao, founder Lindsay Tarnoff discovered that her love of making chocolate was as powerful as her resolve to use her favorite food to change the world.
In addition to public and private chocolate-making classes, they offer chocolate tastings (which include some rare chocolates), hot chocolate flights, they sell Eat Me Ice Cream, espresso, tea, and other drinks, and offer Cheese Plates with local cheeses. They also have vegan and dairy-free options!
Irondequoit, est. 1917
Current chocolatiers are 4th generation descendants of the original owner. Andy’s Candies Homemade Chocolates has been family owned and operated in Rochester, NY since 1917. Andrew Sykut was a welder by day and a candy-maker by night when he founded the business.
Their factory is on Hudson Ave. (not open for tours), with several suburban retail locations that have been operational for decades, the oldest of which is a seasonal shop in Perinton that opened 40+ years ago.
Irondequoit, est. 1987
Founded in 1987, Encore Chocolates, Inc. has always been known for it’s imaginative and innovative chocolate gifts and creations. We strive to satiate your sweet needs for holidays, special events, gifts, and everyday indulgences.
AFFAIRE de CHOCOLAT
Fairport, est. 2001
AFFAIRE de CHOCOLAT was established in 2001 in Perinton NY.
Our truffles and chocolates are hand made right at our Store in Fairport. We have a large selection of different Chocolate Barks. We have both traditional and non-traditional flavors. We manufacture Roc City Chocolates.
Original Candy Kitchen
Williamson, est. 1890
The Original Candy Kitchen has been an institution in the town of Williamson since its origin in 1890. Originally an ice cream parlor, the business has slowly evolved over four generations into a family restaurant/candy store.
Canandaigua, est. 1997
Located in the heart of Historic Downtown Canandaigua, Sweet Expressions has been providing custom-created chocolates and gifts since 1997.
Western New York
Factory in Buffalo plus 5 retail locations, est. 1910
Fowler’s Chocolates is the original maker of sponge candy. Factory tours—complete with Golden Ticket—every Columbus Day weekend, offering self-guided tours and a behind-the-scenes glimpse of how it’s made.
Depew, est. 1915
From Antoinette’s Sweets’ origins on the East Side of Buffalo to the current location on Transit Road in Depew since 1958, a fourth family generation continues the traditions of home-made confectionery creations.
Batavia, est. 1932
Oliver’s Candies was established in 1932 by Joseph Boyd Oliver. Oliver’s uses original family-proven recipes, the very best ingredients, including real butter, cream, honey, and other natural products.
Cheektawaga, est. 1938
Milton C. “Bud” Wahl’s family began making and selling chocolates from their home in 1938, opening a soda fountain and chocolate shop after WWII. Wahl’s Candies is now owned by Fowler’s, who plans to honor the original recipes.
Tonawanda, est. 1946
Watson’s Chocolates factory is in Tonawanda, with several retail locations in Buffalo, plus one in Victor. Established in 1946, current chocolatiers are 3rd generation descendants.
In 1946, two brothers, Louis and John Watson, and their respective wives, Ellen and Mary, began making chocolates in the back room of their soda fountain and luncheonette on Delaware Avenue in Kenmore, NY.
Family recipes are still made today, by hand, and in small batches, including our Famous Sponge Candy. Our candy makers and chocolatier are our extended family and we take pride in using only the highest quality ingredients, including only Fair Trade Certified chocolate.
Williamsville, est. 1967
Alethea’s has a long history in the confectionary business, starting with the owner’s Great Grandmother Alethea, who made confections in her hometown of Kozani Greece.
In 1979, the family consolidated their store and factory into one location on a historic Williamsville estate, building their chocolate factory adjacent to the original estate home.
This original building, after extensive rehabilitation, became the Chocolate Shop and Ice Cream Parlor, now, nicely situated in a beautiful park like setting.
Williamsville, est. 1985
Sweet Jenny’s small batches of ice cream and chocolates are created in the same building as their retail shop inside the 1811 Williamsville Mill. You get the freshest product possible, often out for sale the very day it is made.
Buffalo, est. 1985
Landies Candies is a chocolate manufacturer of private label chocolates as well as our own line of sweet treats including our unique and scrumptious stuffed pretzels!
Landies also makes Wegmans Brand Sponge Candy.
Landies award-winning chocolate starts with a 130-year-old Swiss recipe using only the finest cocoa beans available in the world and harmoniously blending in real whole milk and choice ingredients, such as fresh locally roasted nuts, to create a delightful symphony of satisfaction.
North Tonawanda, est. 1938
In 1938, Carl Platter decided to what friends and family said he did best, make chocolate. Not just any chocolate however, but the chocolate North Tonawanda has come to know and love—Orange Chocolate. Carl then started Platter’s Chocolate part time in his basement.
Central New York
East Syracuse, est. 1905
Current chocolatiers are 3rd generation descendants of the original owner.
In 1905, my grandfather, Robert and his 2 brothers, Jim and Pete arrived in America from Greece through a port in Boston, MA. They went to Fulton, NY where they learned the art of candy making.
We make candy the way it was made in the early 1900’s – all by hand without any machines. We roast our own nuts on the premises and purchase our ingredients directly from the source from which they originate – not through a middle man, so that the freshness and quality of our candy speaks for itself.
The Speach Family Candy Shoppe
Syracuse, est. 1920
Current chocolatiers are 4th generation descendants of the original owner.
Originally founded by Michael Speach (Michele Spicciati) an immigrant from Italy, The Speach Family Candy Shoppe has been passed down through the generations to Michael’s great-grandson who also happens to be named Michael.
With the help of family and friends, the Speach Family Candy Shoppe has grown and developed new products and gorgeous packaging the customers have come to expect and appreciate.
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Who are your favorite Rochester-Area chocolatiers?
Your insights and experiences are valuable. Please share them in the comments.